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The Writings of Karl Ammann
Best known for the breadth of his wildlife photography, Karl's writing cuts a broad swath as well.
Open Letters / Opinion Pieces
Karl's open letters should be read; his older letters still carry resonance. Where have all the Tigers Go and its accompanying gallery tells a sad tale. His open letter to the CITES management discusses the illegal export of primates. His open letter to the Conservation Community makes sharp observations about the World Bank DRC timber plan. Your comments would still be appreciated. The open letter to James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, in 2002 concern the logging industry in the DRC and the World Banks policies in its development.
You'll also want to read Karl's thoughts on partnership agreements with multi national logging companies and the effects on Bushmeat Hunting. These were postings to AZA Bushmeat Email List. These dealt with meeting FSC criteria on sustainable logging and the Economic Viability of Logging in Africa and continued Bushmeat Hunting.
Also see his open letter to SECO about their funding practises. Even Greenpeace cannot dodge his wrath. And read Karl's take on the CITES maze (or mess?). Here is letter to the New Sudan newspaper about rescued Sudanese orphaned chimps And Karl's letter to PASA members. And a letter to the publisher of Hunting Report. And a letter to the editor of Kenya Nation.
More recently is correspondence relating to the trade of bonobos to Armenia as well as illegal imports and the Conakry connection to GRASP (Great Ape Survival Partnership) at the UN (UN Environmental Program). Also of intrest are documents concerning allegations of a cover up at the CITES secretariat.
Some of Karl's many many articles. For others, google him with the subject of your interest.
Karl is convinced that Vietnam is, today, one of the key end consumer countries for rhino horn, tiger bone and bear bile products (including farms where South Korean tourists go shopping by the bus load). This tells the story of Karl's exploration of this 'wild side.'
Into the Asian Underworld - go directly to page 3 of this pdf.
Karl was probing the tiger trade in South-east Asia when he was offered rhino horn for sale. Two years and multiple trips to Vietnam and Laos later, he has amassed information that has implications for proposals to legalise trade and, if used properly, could help us fight the demand for rhino horn.
In 'Africa in Chaos", George B. N. Ayittey, makes the following point: "Political correctness prevents whites from criticizing inane policies of African leaders, while black Americans often blindly defend these leaders in the name of 'racial solidarity'. As a result there is much confusion about what Africa must do to overcome its woes."
I have come to the conclusion that the above applies to the bushmeat problem as well.
Some two years ago I started to regularly encounter bicycle caravans transporting smoked elephant meat from Northern Congo across the Mbomu River into the Central African Republic. When I investigated this trade, it turned out that it had become a major economic activity. Hunters and traders pointed out that it was largely a result of the war and the falling apart of the transport infrastructure (roads, bridges and ferries). Talking to traders and hunters I was told that there were no longer any coffee buyers visiting the region and that if they wanted to earn any hard currency (Central African Francs), the elephant meat was the most productive option.
When do we accept that past approaches to conservation problems such as bushmeat have not and will not work, and start confronting our politicians with the fact that to persist with the current armoury of 'carrots and sticks' means there is no hope that the trend can be reversed in the future. Either they come up with the goods or let them take the blame for the future battles we are going to lose. One thing is certain: for peanuts we will get a lot more dead monkeys!
What would happen if we got Ted Turner, Richard Leakey and maybe Richard Branson around a table with Bill Gates? We could give them the status of conservation in Central Africa in general, and the bushmeat issue in particular, as a 'case study', and ask them to draw up a 'Business-Like Master Plan' to deal with it ...
In 1995, while working on a bushmeat feature, I ended up in Kinshasa, in what was then Zaire. I requested an interview with a Mr. Ongaro, the GM of the SIFORZAL logging company - the biggest such outfit in the country ...
"On our return from Mouloundou to Yokadouma in South-East Cameroon, we stopped at a log-storage site where workers were having a meal - of primates. We were told that a baby chimp and gorilla were being held somewhere locally." This story is a touching account of an attempt to save that orphan chimp in Yokadouma in South-East Cameroon.
This is the press release for Karl's talk, in June 1996, to the World Animal Congress in Washington, D.C.
It is Tuesday today, and I am not sure what the date is, but it is the day after the massacre of the 5 gorillas which, when I get home, I plan to write up under the heading of: 'The other French Connection.'
We came across 4 separate bicycle convoys heading for the CAR and transporting hundreds of kilos of meat - mostly from elephant but also including a chimp and a forest hog in smoked pieces.
In 2001 the CITES Secretariat got for the first time involved in the ape trafficking issue
in and out of Egypt when a deplorable case came to light. The Secretary-General took the
unusual step to respond with two press releases (below). Today we would evaluate what progress has been made in the
context of Egypt and CITES compliance and enforcement. This is what this 2011 report is all about. Please read the Cairo
Connection II. Also see an update to this report: The Cairo
The Cairo Connection Part II: Ape Trafficking
Enforcement Missions by CITES
Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?
Pax Animalis; a report by Karl Ammann
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In 2001 the CITES Secretariat got for the first time involved in the ape trafficking issue in and out of Egypt when a deplorable case came to light. The Secretary-General took the unusual step to respond with two press releases (below).
Today we would evaluate what progress has been made in the context of Egypt and CITES compliance and enforcement.
This is what this 2011 report is all about. Please read the Cairo Connection II.
Also see an update to this report: The Cairo Connection III.